2021 Pittsburgh Democratic Primary Election Guide | Election Guide | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

2021 Pittsburgh Democratic Primary Election Guide

click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: FRANK HARRIS
CP Illustration: Frank Harris
Politics in America after Donald Trump are, maybe somewhat surprisingly, returning to a more traditional dynamic. There isn’t the stress associated with checking what crazy thing the former president said, and how that might contribute to ongoing, global chaos. As such, it feels like many Americans are paying a little bit less attention than before, and allowing the political die-hards to take the reins. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just more of a return to normal.

Pittsburgh is undergoing this rebound, too. There still have been political shifts, and priorities among voters appear to be changing — issues about race, equity, and reform are dominating elections across the region — but it feels like Pittsburgh’s 2021 Primary Election is mostly made up of the typical players.


However, that doesn’t mean that this year’s elections matter less or are less consequential. There are several big decisions to make. Pittsburgh is electing a mayor for another four-year term, and the Pittsburgh Public School board has a flurry of candidates that could reshape the district, which has had a controversial year. Additionally, there are nine open seats in the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, which presents a paramount opportunity for criminal justice reform in the region.


Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and other municipalities are electing councilors, and Pennsylvanians are weighing in on different levels on statewide judicial races, including a seat on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. Not to mention, there are several ballot questions to answer, ranging from curbing emergency powers for Pennsylvania governors, limiting solitary confinement at the Allegheny County Jail, and banning Pittsburgh Police officers from executing no-knock warrants.

Pittsburgh City Paper also wants to remind voters that they don’t need to wait until May 18 to cast votes for this primary election. If registered voters want to skip their polling place, they can apply for and send in a no-excuse mail-in ballot (learn more at votespa.com). Registered voters can also early vote by visiting the Allegheny County election office at 542 Forbes Ave., Downtown and complete a ballot application, then fill out a ballot right there in the office.

It may be an odd year election and a primary before the general election this fall, but votes this spring will result in monumental decisions in Pittsburgh and beyond. Go vote!

Pittsburgh Public School board
This election guide is being copublished with our newspartners at PublicSource.

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